The Story Behind the Story/Acknowledgements

After reading The Lord of the Rings and a number of other works of speculative fiction as an adolescent, I resolved to create my own imaginary world. That world has been with me ever since, its development and elaboration being one of my main avocations. For many years I kept a number of somewhat disjointed story-lines running in my mind, falling into the landscapes of Terranova late at night after finishing my daily obligations. I had always intended to write a novel based on this world, but I put it off for decades, thinking that my time would be better spent in professional pursuits. In the summer of 2005, however, I concluded that if I didn't write something soon, the opportunity might disappear. Only at that time did I begin developing the Earth-based story found in The Black Petaltail.

By the summer of 2006, I had finished an initial draft of the novel, which I shared with selected friends and family members. The manuscript at the time was quite crude -- and they told me as much. But they also offered invaluable advice, and I set back to work. A year later I resubmitted my work to the same critics, and again I was advised to keep working. In January of 2008, I finally had what I -- and most of them -- considered to be an acceptable manuscript.

I thus could not have written Terranova: The Black Petaltail without the concerted help of friends and family members. I offer my most sincere appreciation to my most patient critics and closest readers: Kathryn Lodato, Avery Lodato, and Kären Wigen. Special thanks are due as well to Peggy Kolb, Cicely Kolb, Jason Kolb, Marie Price, Rob Crandall, David Knox, Louis Wigen-Toccalino, Rachel Wigen-Toccalino, James Hynes, Eleanor Lewis, and Bill Zarchy. Evan Lewis gets an an additional nod of gratitude for insisting that I devote more attention to military matters and for drafting the last two pages of Chapter 32. Many thanks as well to Kaitlin Yarnall for her cartographic expertise.

I would also like to offer special thanks to Peggy and Jason Kolb, who created the dragonfly image that graces the cover of the book, and to Avery Lodato, whose patient work and instruction has made this website possible. Thanks are also due to Cary A. of Lulu, who demonstrated great patience in leading me through the publishing process, and to Libby Jordan for lending her expertise in the realm of book publicity.